Aging is unavoidable. All human beings, even animals, will go through the aging process. The only thing that will differ is if they are aging healthily or not.
Hence, every person starting to experience aging must remember that they need to change some or a lot of things in their life to age healthily.
The first thing to do is to identify the factors that influence the healthy aging process one experiences. So, what are these things that determine whether or not you will age gracefully?
The first factor that affects the aging process of human beings is stress. There are so many things that can trigger stress. Being constantly exposed to stress can cause damage and inflammation to the DNA cells, accelerating aging.
Not only does it make an individual age faster than expected, but it can also cause unhealthy aging. If a person ages with stress, they tend to experience a deterioration of their health.
Unfortunately, many things can stress an adult, especially if they are starting to enter middle adulthood.
Middle adulthood encompasses the ages 40 to 65 years old, with 60 to 65 as the transition period for late adulthood.
At this age range, people tend to think about death and feel the fear of leaving their loved ones behind. This fear is one of the most common stressors in middle adulthood. However, there are many things you can do to face this fear.
Death is inevitable. But you can do something for your loved ones to help them move on after you’re gone.
If you still don’t have life insurance, this might be the right time to acquire one. Start by checking the rates for life insurance and see which plan suits your needs.
Other causes of stress in middle adulthood, as per a study conducted, are:
- Romantic relationship
- Conflicts and Threats
Another huge factor that affects the aging process is nutrition. The food a person consumes has a significant influence on healthy aging. The link between proper nutrition and healthy aging cannot be denied.
Experts conducted a study about the relationship of nutrition to healthy aging. The study concluded that individuals must choose healthy and nutritious food as they age to reduce the development and emergence of various comorbidities and promote healthy aging.
Thus, individuals transitioning to middle adulthood might want to start rethinking their diet. If they’re eating unhealthy food choices, it’s time to stop.
They must slowly remove unhealthy food from their daily diet and add healthy alternatives. Eat in the right portions to ensure they get the right nutrients their body needs.
If a person is starting to age, the lifestyle they had 20 or 10 years ago is not practical anymore. Adapting a healthy lifestyle should start in early adulthood. But if a person does not live a healthy lifestyle, they must start doing so when they turn 40.
Individuals transitioning to middle adulthood must start doing healthy habits like getting enough sleep, exercising, and avoiding smoking and drinking.
One problem with this is that as a person ages, they also start to experience sleeping problems.
Sleep patterns change. For example, individuals aged 50 to 85 can only sleep 4-6 hours daily. As a result, they experience sleep deprivation even if they do not intend to do so. If this is the case, seeking professional help is highly recommended.
Another factor that affects the aging process is a person’s mental activity. Mental health is known to deteriorate as a person ages.
Some individuals might start experiencing forgetfulness or dementia early in their middle adulthood. Meanwhile, most will start to experience these mental health issues later on. But in general, aging has a huge impact on our brain function.
That’s why experts advise individuals already in their middle adulthood to keep their brains active by playing puzzle games, reading, and trying new activities. One example of a new activity that you can do is to learn a new language.
It does not only fight boredom. It can also help boost mental health, plus you’ll be able to broaden your knowledge in different languages, which you can be proud of.
Playing a musical instrument is also known to enhance brain function, making it a suitable activity for middle-aged adults who love music.
Last but not least is the social connections of an individual. Social connections are as vital as physical and mental health, yet many individuals, especially older adults, neglect this aspect of their lives.
As people age, there is a tendency for them to withdraw from socializing. Older adults do not want to socialize anymore because of a chronic illness, changes in family structure, losing a loved one, or being tired.
However, social isolation can cause loneliness. This results in more health issues such as:
- Impaired executive functions
- Lack of adequate sleep
- Fast decline of cognitive function
- Impaired immunity.
Start Making Changes
Individuals who want to age healthily must start making changes soon. Once individuals start changing their unhealthy habits, become more knowledgeable, and improve their social and mental health, they can experience healthy aging.
Jean Smith is a fitness enthusiast and blogger who focuses on fitness and a healthy lifestyle. She is passionate about assisting people in living healthier lifestyles and is constantly on the lookout for new and creative methods to stay fit and healthy. Her articles are excellent resources for anyone interested in improving their health and fitness.